Emerging from Hell

I woke at 4 a.m. Silence has replaced the menagerie of beeps and alarms and
groans of my open-plan home for the last couple of months. I am spending my
first night in the rehab ward and the initial difference from the acute ward
is the sound. For the moment I am in a single room, away from the din of the
6 bed bay of before. In a matter of days, alongside my physical relocation,
my mind has moved to a significantly more positive place.


I wrote the above paragraph only hours after I posted my last blog, which
detailed how my fight was waning. But, after my short reprieve from
infections (enough of a reprieve for me to insist I be moved from the
acute ward), on day 1 in rehab I was exhausted… another infection was

2 miserable weeks have now passed since the initial high of my arrival in
rehab. Again, I couldn’t eat or drink much for the duration of the new
infection. In fact, I have lost over 2 stone since I arrived here, perhaps 3
stone since the accident. Ironically, this weight loss is close to the
weight I lost in 2 months racing across Antarctica and bang on the weight I
aimed for in order to row lightweight. My weak body suffered more blood
draws, temperatures now record for me of 41 degrees (105.8 degrees in old
money), intravenous antibiotics and vomiting. My consultant asked a patient
who had suffered a series of infections like me to come and console me, to
tell me of his experience. He told me how terrible he had felt for months
and how the third infection had nearly killed his spirit altogether. Perhaps
not quite the story I needed to hear. I thought I couldn’t cope with another
set back, but in this situation there is little, in fact no, choice.
So, I am again recovering, this time slowly. The exhaustion is lifting and I
am getting back in the wheelchair. Today I even managed to make my first
hydrotherapy session in the hospital pool. Stretching, floating and even
some swimming with a physiotherapist. The session only lasted 30 minutes but
the weightlessness was liberating. I will be pushing for more hydro! 

When you are going through hell, keep going, said Winston
Churchill. Someone texted me this quote during my last infection. I have
hated my hell of the last 3 months, but I am starting to think I will fight
my way out regardless of these set backs.


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